Blue whale news blog
Victoria Wadley, Scientific Co-ordinator of the Antarctic Blue Whale Project, will write weekly blue whale blog posts from on board the Amaltal Explorer during the voyage.
14 March 2013
The transit home from our expedition to the highest latitudes of the Southern Ocean has been a time for reflection on the significant success of the Antarctic blue whale voyage.
8 March 2013
After 38 days of intensive work in the Southern Ocean – what a brilliant finale!
6 March 2013
On dry land at 9 am a normal day in the office would usually see me sitting with a nice fresh cup of coffee in front of the computer screen - not a chance on the blue whales voyage!
5 March 2013
The pattern of after dinner whales is continuing, with the giants often cruising by late in the evening. We achieved a further four blue whale IDs, plus one blue and three humpback biopsies over the weekend.
1 March 2013
During our research voyage, we have been entertained and captivated by the remarkable behaviour of the Antarctic blue whales and their Olympic performances of strength.
27 February 2013
Life on board the MV Explorer is dictated by a disciplined, yet comfortable, routine. The workload for the sixteen scientists on the Antarctic blue whale voyage is divided across three teams: acoustics, observers and small boat.
22 February 2013
The acoustics team in the 'sound lab' is the hub of the Antarctic blue whales voyage. Our five acousticians share shifts so they can operate 24 hours a day, seven days of the week.
15 February 2013
One of the scientific objectives of the blue whale voyage is to track the movements of Antarctic blue whales using satellite tags – something which has never been achieved before.
14 February 2013
At 7am I'm half awake, trying to maintain my balance on the heaving bow of Explorer. I shiver under four layers of thermals and wet weather gear. With the wind behind us, the ship cruises down a three-metre wave.
13 February 2013
Last Friday, our initial day in the survey area, I reported our thrilling success with the first Antarctic blue whale we encountered. That evening, we sampled another blue whale from the inflatable boat.
8 February 2013
The first day in our survey area, on the edge of the Antarctic sea ice, and we struck gold! After our acoustics team tracked whales all night, we saw our first Antarctic blue whale this morning.
7 February 2013
We have just passed 60°S and officially entered Antarctic waters, the ocean temperature has now plunged to a chilly3°C. Although we have practiced our “man overboard” drill many times…
6 February 2013
The marine animals of the Southern Ocean are escorting us as we transit toward Antarctica on the blue whales voyage. Seals, sea lions, petrels, shearwaters and prions are regular visitors around our ship, the Explorer.
4 February 2013
The Antarctic blue whale voyage, aboard the FV Explorer, is heading south-west from New Zealand, on transit to our research area. We selected the region along the ice edge from 135-175° East, which lies roughly south of Tasmania.
1 February 2013
Day 2 of the Antarctic blue whales voyage dawned clear and calm off Greymouth, on the west coast of New Zealand.
31 January 2013
After intense preparation of the scientific gear for the Antarctic blue whale voyage, it was with great relief the 18 scientists and 13 crew of Amaltal Explorer cast off from the wharf at Nelson, New Zealand on the afternoon of 31 January.
22 January 2013
The whales of the Southern Ocean have taken some big hits. In particular, the Antarctic blue whale, largest animal ever on the planet, was targeted during the industrial whaling era.